Book to keep science alive

The Fishy Smiths book launch took place on the afternoon of Saturday October 13 in the Courtenay-Latimer Hall at the East London Museum.

East London-born Professor Mike Bruton penned this book about JLB and Margaret Smith – a couple famous for the identification of a coelacanth in 1938, a fish thought to be long extinct.

Bruton said this was one of the greatest finds of the 20th Century. The Coelacanth Cafe on the museum grounds is aptly named after it.

FISHY FINDS: Professor Mike Bruton speaks at the ‘The Fishy Smiths’ book launch Picture: AMANDA NANO

“The book is to highlight the importance of appreciating the value of science as it is attacked from all angles,” he said.

He also said that science was work in progress and each day was about edging a little closer to the truth.

Bruton highlighted the legacy left behind by JLB, which Margaret carried forward after her husband’s death in 1968.

“A lot of scientists live in ivory towers and there needs to be more dialogue. Science should be popularised,” he said.

Bruton hopes the book will attempt to “make science accessible” and get people to participate more in related book launches.

Speaking on how to get the youth more involved in the discipline, he said that the Border area had access to sea life, plants and animals.

“Science is a lot of fun, has intrigue and danger– it’s not boring at all. The young and curious can combine nature and technology to improve their knowledge,” Bruton said.

With what he termed “screen-agers”, youngsters could make use of applications available on their smart phones – where the “screen-ager and naturalist can come together”.


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